The fear of missing out. FOMO contains a big word: fear. None of us want to fear anything do we? It can affect us from childhood, in our teens and in our grown up years. Even my girls have a bit of FOMO. Why end the day and have to go to bed? Last night I heard “I want to come in your room Mummy” a hundred times as Big Munch must have known I was planning my outfits for the week. Coming back to the grown up world, with people more on social media we can see what others are doing, where they’re hanging out and what they’ve been invited to. Here’s some tips on how to deal with FOMO – the fear of missing out.
1. Everyone has a bit of FOMO. I’m sure we all experience it. Maybe on an everyday level or every so often. So you’re not alone and it’s a common feeling.
2. Accept that people love to share what they’ve been up to. It’s a normal thing to talk about the things you do. We all do it. It might be to do with your work or projects. If you don’t like seeing what others are up to, then stay away from social media channels or remove yourself from updates. Don’t let them interrupt your day if they’re injecting a bit of FOMO.
3. Focus on what I call “FOR-ME”. I talked about this at the January Lucky Things Meet Up in London. The FOMO can be bad for our wellbeing and health if it ends up causing anxieties or affect our self-confidence. As we get older (and wiser), our social time and weekend is so precious. By not going to a gathering or catch up we are using our time in other ways. I often work in the evenings so I know what I’m doing “FOR-ME” instead of letting the FOMO take over and feeling like I should be out and about lots every week.
4. We can’t be everywhere and do everything…Whether it’s a children’s birthday party, a work event, an exciting invite, sometimes we can’t physically make it work. We have solid reasons for missing out on things. It could be down to more important commitments, our time, travel, childcare or money. So focus on the nice things you can be part of and things that work for your lifestyle or priorities. Sometimes it’s good to miss out on something. It can event build up your resilience to FOMO. It makes us value being at different occasions when we can be there.
5. There will always be things to go to…If you’re missing out on a gathering with friends, it’s likely they will meet up again. So you’re not going to miss out forever. Maybe just on this occasion. I’m conscious as an events organiser, people don’t get to come to events and may feel like they missed out. They haven’t. They are just using their time and energy for something different. There will always be another opportunity to be part of a gathering.
6. Find your alternative…Similar to FOR-ME, if you can be part of something then find something else to do. If you can’t go to a party, figure out what you’re really going to miss out on if you’re not there. If you are missing out on a course or a talk, can you ask someone who was there for their low-down on what they took away from it? If it’s the social aspect, can you call up or Skype a friend for a chat instead? If it’s a work thing, can you get in touch with people another way? If you can’t make that children’s party can you organise a play date instead?
7. Don’t forget about what’s important to you…The FOMO will always be hanging around. Think about what you love doing. Our time is priceless. Plan ahead so you get to do the things you enjoy and have something to look forward to. Decide for yourself what you’d like to get involved in and go along to. If you’re going along to something make sure it’s for good reasons and not just because of the FOMO. Don’t let what others are doing influence your values or preferences. I’ll be writing more about what I call comparison culture on the blog soon. Remember they have to deal with their FOMO at some point too.
Do you have a fear of missing out? What are your tips for dealing with FOMO? Leave a comment below as we’d love to hear what you think.